Marion Witte

January 30, 2019

The Nuns Are In On It Too?

Filed under: Catholic Church — Marion Witte @ 8:58 pm

I was watching the media drama surrounding the situation that happened in Washington, DC with the boys from the Covington, Kentucky private Catholic high school.  I was somewhat struck by the degree of attention it was getting from the news outlets.  I mean, what can possibly go wrong when you put some entitled boys, acting stupid, without proper supervision, supporting a pro-life agenda and wearing MAGA hats, in a politically charged environment?

I understand that teenage boys can be jerks, and that often there is an assumed privilege that goes along with attending a private Catholic school.  These are annoying factors, yet they pale when compared to the real problems within the Catholic organization. I hope the Covington story does not distract anyone from continuing to address the most critical issue facing this Church.

Pedophilia.

And in case you think it only involves priests, CBS News broke a story three weeks ago, reporting on what is being called “the secret not yet told” – the growing number of allegations of sexual abuse by nuns. The Catholic Church has been plagued with high-profile sexual abuse scandals, but “pedophile nun” is a phrase many people have probably never heard before.

The sexual and physical abuse by nuns is apparently far more widespread than most people are aware of, and nuns have been uniquely protected by the inability of most people to believe that such things are possible. For years, without much success, the victims of abusive nuns have asked that these women of the cloth expose the truth about childhood sex crimes and the coverup by the women in these religious societies.

I have a passionate belief in the need for a change in the behavior of the hierarchy and clergy of the Catholic Church, and I am unabashedly and unapologetically proud of my stance.

I often hear the comment that “there are a lot of problems about the way children are treated in other religious organizations.”  This is a deflection away from the real issue, in my mind, and a way to detract from the topic I am trying to address.  I realize this problem is not unique to the Catholic Church, and so I applaud the work of anyone tackling this issue in other religious organizations, such as Leah Remini, who is exposing such practices in the Church of Scientology.

For me, since the Catholic Church is the single biggest known organized abuser of children in the world, it is where I have been focusing my resources the last few years.  There are some amazing groups and members within the Church, and many who have left the Church, who have been shining a bright flashlight into the darkest corners of the organization, and I am in total accord with what they are doing. 

Luckily, the efforts of these individuals and organizations are starting to pay off, including:

  1. Various dioceses around the United States are under financial pressure and to date, 22 have declared bankruptcy, since they are unable to pay off the multi-million dollar settlements awarded to the survivors of sexual abuse.
  2. As of today, 16 states have opened up criminal investigations against the Catholic Church dioceses in their states.  This is unprecedented, and it is a direct result of the disclosure in 2018 of the magnitude of the abuse in the state of Pennsylvania.
  3. Investigations into Catholic pedophilia have begun in over 30 countries around the world.
  4. Church attendance is declining – estimates are that only 1 in 4 Catholics now attend service.

I understand the issues raised by those who make the argument “But the Church is a beacon and guiding light for so many.” On the other hand, what is also true is the fact that the entire Catholic organization has a systemic problem that must be eradicated.  And so, I believe that Church members can hold these two separate truths in their hearts, at the same time.  They can cling to the spiritual foundation that serves them, without providing the financial support that keeps this abhorrent behavior alive.

Critics engage in deflection by saying “Yes, but all priests and nuns aren’t abusers.” And to them I reply “You are right, they aren’t, but that is not the point.  It’s not them I am worried about – my concern is with those who are!”

Everyone needs to find their passion and purpose, and I am proud to be able to lend my very small voice and my resources to this cause.   

It may take a village to raise a child. But it takes just one priest or nun to destroy their future.

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1 Comment »

  1. I agree, Marion…and thank you for taking up this banner. And yes, I have seen and heard about it in all religious organizations, which is why I do not participate in any, and no, not even a “Buddhist” organization, for they too have had their problems. I think your last sentence says it all…whether religion, movie industry, local organizations of any type…it only takes one.
    Keep up the good work!

    Luv ya bunches!

    Comment by Patti — January 25, 2019 @ 5:56 am

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